JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As more and more people head downtown for the Georgia-Florida game festivities, the particular city docks in the St. Johns River near TIAA Bank Field are filling up as boaters secure their spots.
So many diehard Bulldogs and Gators tailgate on the water, and Coastline Guard members are making sure they have fun — but do it responsibly and stay safe.
“There’s a group of us that always show up, plus we’ve become pretty good friends, ” said boater Robin Doering.
On Thursday, Robin and Nancy Doering invited News4JAX onboard their boat the particular Rockin’ Robin. They have been mooring downtown for 25 years now.
“It’s really exciting, and we possess some loud horns on our boat so we can honk those every time we get a touchdown, ” Nancy Doering said.
As the big rivalry matchup nears, the waterways are sure to fill up.
“We have all the particular safety gear. We have got all of our lifejackets, ” Robin Doering said.
While the Doerings are cautious, not everyone is as conscientious.
“We are usually out there on the particular water to make sure that everyone is secure, ” Sean Gradin with the U. S. Coast Guard.
News4JAX on Thursday also went out with Coast Guard members from Mayport. They’ll be part of the law enforcement presence this weekend, cracking down upon dangerous activity, which includes boating under the influence and people operating illegal charters.
“If we can’t see a clear relationship or if they can not tell us how they know each other, that’s one way that we know if they are an illegal charter or not, as well as are they paying? ” Gradin said.
The particular Coast Guard caught the particular captains of a 53-foot boat called the Dream Chaser at last year’s Florida-Georgia game, saying they were chartering it out along with fans without the proper licenses, training or safety equipment. Owners and operators face fines up to $60, 000 .
The Doerings love a good party but said they appreciate the heavy law enforcement presence on land and in the water — so everyone may celebrate safely.
“It gets real rowdy when the Gators win, ” Robin Doering stated. “Real rowdy. ”
For information from the Coast Guard on Vessel Safety Checks, click here .